30 Min. Mozzarella

30 Minuit Mozzarella is fun! With a small amount of work you get pretty instant gratification. If you’ve never made cheese before, this is where you need to start.  I got the Ricky’s 30 Min. Mozzarella and Ricotta kit and it was so worth it. Even if you just make it a few times. This was my second time making it, both times with my Mom and it turned out great both times. We followed the directions exactly and the process looked a little different then what’s in her directions but was consistent with the both times that we made it. And it turned out great. Also note that the directions are different on her site then what’s below.  That’s cause we followed the directions that came with the box. Not really sure why it’s different.

We used a gallon of raw milk which I really think adds to the flavor of the cheese because well, raw milk tastes better. You only neat it up to 135 degrees so you are still keeping most of the good bacteria in the cheese making it good for you too!

Ricky stresses using local milk pasteurized or not because it seems to make a better curd. So if you can try to get your hands on a gallon of local milk. If not then I’m sure that regular milk from the grocery store will work fine, so long as it’s not ultra-pasteurized.  According to Ricky, it just won’t work. Probably because it’s just dead white stuff with nothing really even left in it.  Just speculating here though.

So here’s what you need:

A gallon of WHOLE milk ( really people, go big or go home with this one)

Un-Chlorinated water

A thermometer

Cheese Making Kit

Large good quality stock pot

A wooden spoon and a long knife

A microwave ( I put this here because I don’t assume everyone has one. I did it for a whole year by choice once)

Note the bottled water. She says that you only have to use un-chlorinated water but my filter box said that it only reduces it. I wasn’t gonna take any chances so my Mom ran out to the Wawa and picked up a gallon. You only need a few cups though. If you don’t want to get the kit then you just need citric acid, rennet in tablet form, and cheese salt.

So you start just like she says. Take the 1/4 of a rennet tablet and dissolve in 1/4 cup of cool water and set aside. Next go ahead and mix 1 1/2 tsp. citric acid in 1 cup cool water and set that aside as well. Next you pour the milk into the stock pot and stir vigorously with with dissolved rennet.

Keep stirring pretty quickly until the milk reaches 90 degrees exactly and remove it from the heat. Now is when you take your handy pre-measured and dissolved citric acid. Stir it in an upwards motion for about 30 seconds. Kind of like you beating an egg.  Now is when it needs to set. The milk will separate into large curd and visibly separate from what is now the whey.  (make sure to save it because you can turn it into ricotta cheese easily later) So your gonna want to just let it sit with a lid on it.  What you’re looking for is a good solid separation. You’ll know what it is when you see it. The directions said it would take 3-5 minutes but it took us closer to 10.  It will look like this:

Once you get a good curd formed you want to cut it. Get a knife that large enough to touch the bottom of the pot. I used a cake decorating knife. Now just literally cut the curds in a both directions. Meaning cut them all horizontally and then vertically. About an inch apart. This is the tricky part. For us it kind of swirled around the pot.

Once you have it cut completely then put it back on the burner and slowly heat up to 105 degrees exactly. But while you’re doing it you want to stir it with your wooden spoon SLOWLY. It only takes about 2-5 mins. The more you stir it the harder the cheese will be.  The curd or almost cheese at this point all clumped up together. It was ok. Actually made it pretty easy to get out.

I just kind of scooped it all out into a bowl before I stuck it in the microwave. But first I drained off as much excess whey as I could without dropping the whole thing back into the pot.  It’s only because I have skills though. (actually it was pretty easy)

Yea, so do that. Put it in a microwave safe bowl (duh! no metal) for 1 minute. Once you take it out your gonna want to go ahead and add 1 tsp. cheese salt and mix into the cheese completely. It’s going to be hot so work fast. Be sure that you separate off the extra whey at this point too.

Now stick it back in the microwave for about 30 seconds before working it. (stretching) The directions say it needs to be 135 degrees before it will stretch properly but it just needs to be hot. This process goes really fast so make sure your ready. Stretch it out several times until it gets smooth and shiny. Now you can form it into balls or like I did just kind of lay it down in a narrow fashion.

Done! You can now give yourself a pat on the back!

You can either eat it now (we did) or wait until it cools and give it a try. SO good! My camera died before I could take a final picture but I will take one once the battery charges and put it up.  How cool is that? Not so hard huh?

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